January 9, 2016 7:13 pm

Rebuild of hacked National Research Council computer systems years late

The National Research Council Canada office in Halifax, N.S., Aug. 10, 2015.


OTTAWA – Newly released documents show the country’s top scientific agency will be waiting at least two more years for a new computer system to replace the one hackers infiltrated in the summer of 2014.

The National Research Council was forced to shut down its computer network in July 2014 after hackers repeatedly made it into systems that house sensitive research, trade secrets and personal information.

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The ensuing 12 months were supposed to have seen a $32.5-million refit of the council’s networks, rebuilding the system from scratch to prevent hackers from gaining access again.

A presentation to the head of Shared Services Canada, dated June 30, 2015, said a new system wouldn’t be ready until July 2018 – and even that timeline was “already slipping” because of “resourcing gaps” on the project.

In the meantime, some of the country’s top researchers were being forced to work on the “compromised legacy system” as well as the new, more secure system as it was being built.

No one from Shared Services Canada or the National Research Council was made available for interviews about progress on the project.

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